New research shows that women are more analytical than men, that they have surpassed men in IQ scores for the first time, and they are already better at emotional intelligence (see links below for proof). This means women are besting men in some very important areas. Men had better pay attention.
Never has critical thinking been more important to succeed in life and career, but most people are foggy about what it really is. If women study critical thinking explicitly, they can gain a rapid and significant edge over male counterparts because they will enhance already keen analytical and reasoning skills – key to becoming even better decision makers and problem solvers.
And thinking is like any skill; to be top notch, it must be studied and practised. But few people study or practise how to think better. Women can secure and build on their leadership advantages by combining qualities in two areas of intellect. They are already acknowledged as having superior emotional intelligence (self awareness, empathy, humility), but add to that the ability to deliberately, on command, think analytically, strategically and creatively, and you will find men playing catch up.
And don’t forget patience. Men, in general, are quite impatient and more inclined toward immediate rewards — this negates attempts to think critically because analysis and reasoning take time. The glass ceiling is getting some serious cracks.
When you break it down, there are four key reasons that we all want to think better in our lives and in our careers:
- to make consistently good decisions
- to solve problems
- to create and implement effective plans
- to anticipate outcomes of decisions and plans mentally, positives and negatives, to avoid costly real-world trial and error
Though the reasons for wanting to think better appear simple enough, we all know that doing each of them well is anything but. In fact, not thinking optimally is what plagues many of us throughout our lives.
To think well means to think critically, and that translates pretty much automatically into better performance in life and at work. The good news is that learning critical thinking fundamentals and processes isn’t that complicated. Any literate person of average intelligence who is willing to put in a bit of time is easily able to understand the sequences and processes. It follows, of course, that they then have to make a habit of using them. Tools do no good if they never leave the toolbox.
The problem is, most people don’t know there are specific sequences and processes to put into the toolbox, so they keep doing what they’ve always done, reminiscent of the well-known observation credited to Abraham Maslow:
“If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”
Let’s face it, there are a lot of people out there armed with only hammers, people who don’t make good decisions, who struggle to solve problems, who seem incapable of assembling workable plans and who are constantly blind-sided by negative consequences to actions that were obviously ill considered.
To become a habitual critical thinker, see this new eBook that details the sequences and processes used by excellent thinkers. They aren’t secrets, but so few people know about them, or do them routinely, that they may as well be. Check out the free preview at Amazon.com, but the book is available everywhere.
Women more analytical: http://www.helsinki.fi/research/news/2005/week10.htm
Emotional intelligence edge goes to women: http://www.6seconds.org/2012/09/11/research-emotional-intelligence-gender-career/
Women best men for first time in IQ scores: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/16/women-beat-men-on-iq-tests-for-first-time/